Vanderbilt’s secondary is a little thinner after two safeties announced they are entering the transfer portal on consecutive days.
On Monday, Matt Zenitz of AL.com was first to report that Tae Daley would be entering the transfer portal. The timing of this announcement somewhat surprising given Daley’s extensive playing experience, and with the season opener at Texas A&M less than two weeks away. The senior had started the last two seasons and looked to be one of the leaders on defense again this year. Daley finished the 2019 season third on the team in tackles with 57, led the team with three interceptions, and forced one fumble. If he does officially leave the team, he would be the only defensive starter not to return.
The following day, redshirt sophomore Tre Douglas announced via Twitter he would be entering the transfer portal as well.
Douglas’ decision is less of a surprise. He played sparingly as a reserve in the 2019 season and switched positions from cornerback to safety in the spring, where he looked to face stiff competition for playing time this season.
While the losses will certainly hurt, the silver lining is the safety position is one that the Commodores have an abundance of depth. With a rotation that figures to include Frank Coppet, Brandon Harris, Dashaun Jerkins, and Max Worship the team returns a plethora of starting experience and talent. There are also high hopes that uber-talented true freshman Donovan Kaufman could work his way into playing time his first season.
With an offseason of what seems to be an inordinately high number COVID-19 opt-outs and transfers, hopefully this will be the last “surprise” as kickoff is almost upon us.